Nowadays, anyone who wants to increase their productivity at work can do a simple Google search and find hundreds of tips and tools from experts who have mastered productivity in their own lives. While there is a lot of helpful advice out there, one simple question remains: are they enough to actually motivate you to be more productive at work, either in a traditional office environment or in a home office?
Sometimes applying classic productivity techniques and downloading all the apps the web has to offer still isn’t enough to help you be more productive in your home office. This is mainly because of problems related to efficiency and/or distractions. Having a lot of clutter on your desk may make you feel more productive, but all it does is instill in you feelings of overwhelming stress and anxiety.
Here are a few must have items you can purchase for your home office to increase your productivity and help you to get more things done in far less time than you ever have before.
1. A dry erase board calendar
A dry erase board calendar allows you to keep track of dates, but also allows for more flexibility in planning future events or changing dates or times if a meeting or event is not set in stone. Sometimes we avoid writing things down when we are unsure of when they will be, but an item like this in your office can help you both visualize and keep track of dates and times with less worry attached. It allows for quick checks when communicating in real time with others. When you are trying to focus on a project, however, you will not be distracted by electronic calendar reminders or notifications on your phone or computer.
2. A desktop organizer
You don’t have to declutter your entire life in order to feel more organized and focus: just start with your home office desk! There are plenty of reasons to keep your desk free of unnecessary clutter, the major benefit being that it not only frees physical clutter, but also makes it more difficult for your brain to be distracted by messy surroundings. Minimizing physical clutter is sort of like a psychological reminder that you can, and should, only focus on one thing at a time. A desk organizer can help you keep everything you need within reach without keeping your desk disorganized and cluttered.
3. Sticky notes
Sometimes, making quick notes in your phone or on your computer isn’t enough. After all, writing things down helps you remember them, and being able to stick notes and reminders on nearby surfaces allows for quick and easy access when you need that information, such as a phone number or email address. Having sticky notes handy can also improve your concentration: if you are on an important phone call and are given important information you do not want to forget, and you do not write it down immediately, you might stop paying attention to the call because you are concentrating too hard on trying to remember new information. Writing down the thing you need to remember clears your mind and allows you to focus.
4. A height adjustable desk
Standing desks are the new treadmill desks (maybe). They cut down on the amount of time you spend sitting each day, which some experts say is terrible for your health and well being. However, you might not always want to work at a standing desk: sometimes, perhaps while working on specific projects, you might want or need to sit instead of standing. A height adjustable desk allows you to switch between a sitting and standing desk so you are not stuck with only one or the other. This increases productivity over time by making you more comfortable, maybe even more physically well, too.
5. A comfortable, adjustable office chair
Though it might seem like getting too comfortable in your home office might be a bad idea, you also don’t want to spend your entire work day feeling uncomfortable, either. If you spend all day hunched over your desk or constantly trying to find a more comfortable sitting position, ultimately you are not going to be able to accomplish nearly as much as you might in a more comfortable office chair.
6. A mobile speakerphone
Sometimes, conference calls are the best time to do mindless tasks such as filing old documents, stretching or rearranging items around your home office. In order to do this, you won’t want to have your phone pressed to your ear the entire time, even if you are listening to the call on mute. Sometimes putting your phone on speaker on its own doesn’t result in the best audio or microphone quality, though. You will want to invest in a mobile speakerphone for times like these, so you can get things done more efficiently and at higher quality.
7. A plant
It may seem odd to place foliage on a list of office productivity must haves, but trust us, it counts. Research has shown that office plants really do increase productivity and workplace satisfaction. Just having a plant or two in your home office completely changes your environment. It’s a long term effect, so you might not notice much of a difference between today and tomorrow if you went out and bought a plant right now, but it is definitely something worth considering if you were already planning on doing some office redecorating anyway.
Improving productivity is an investment in more ways than one. Not only do you have to invest time and energy into learning how to save more time and energy, but you often end up coming up with a list of new resources you need to acquire in order to work more productively, especially when working from home.
These home office essentials are staples for everyone who has a space in their home dedicated specifically for work. Investing in them is a worthwhile investment in the future success of your work.